My Two Cents

First up today, our own Russell Hammond has just posted the weekly Release Dates & Artwork update with all the latest Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K cover artwork and Amazon.com pre-order links. Don’t forget, anytime you order titles through our links you’re helping to support our work here at The Bits and we appreciate it!

Now then... in new release news today, Paramount has officially announced Robert Zemeckis’ Allied for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 2/28, with the Digital HD release expected on 2/14. The WWII thriller stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Extras on the Blu-rays will include 10 behind-the-scenes featurettes (among them The Story of Allied, From Stages to the Sahara: The Production Design of Allied, Through the Lens: Directing with Robert Zemeckis, A Stitch in Time: The Costumes of Allied, ’Til Death Do Us Part: Max and Marianne, Guys and Gals: The Ensemble Cast, Lights, Pixels, Action! The Visual Effects of Allied, Behind the Wheel: The Vehicles of Allied, Locked and Loaded: The Weapons of Allied, and That Swingin’ Sound: The Music of Allied). You can see the cover artwork to the left and below. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

This is just a quick update today to let you all know that The Criterion Collection has just announced their April slate of titles, which is set to include new editions of George Stevens’ Woman of the Year (Cat #867 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Wim Wenders’ Buena Vista Social Club (Cat #866 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/18, followed by Juzo Itami’s Tampopo (Cat #868 – Blu-ray and DVD) and Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish (Cat #869 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/25. You’ll also get updated versions of two existing Criterion titles, including Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Cat #716 – Blu-ray and DVD) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (Cat #717 – Blu-ray and DVD) on 4/11. You can see the cover artwork below. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K announcements have been few and far between in the last few days, but we’ve got a couple of interesting things to report today to close out the week.

First though, we have four new horror Blu-ray reviews from Tim Salmons for those of you who are fans of the genre. Tim has taken a look at Synapse’s Phenomena: Limited Edition, David Cronenberg’s The Brood from Criterion, Arrow Video’s The Initiation, and Grindhouse Releasing’s I Drink Your Blood. Do give them a look.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, we’ve been busy here at The Bits these last couple days. Just a quick note first: Tomorrow is my birthday, so I’m not working. I turn 49, if you can believe it, which I can’t. But that’s how these things go. In any case, to make up for it, we’ve got a bunch of good stuff for you all to enjoy today. So let’s get to it...

First, I’ve just spent the last six months putting Samsung’s launch 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UBD-K8500, through its paces and I have my full review for you to check out today. Suffice it to say that there’s never been a debut player for any format (that I know of) that offers so much quality and performance for such a low price. If you’re thinking about upgrading to 4K Ultra HD and you’re looking for the best value for your dollar, this is the player for you. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

I think it’s time we caught up. Walking outside during this Oklahoma summer is like tasting something after it’s been in the microwave about eight minutes. The heat and stupidity started even before Memorial Day and has not abated. It’s like we’re living on Mars – I’ve been pricing those spacesuits which protected Matt Damon.

But thank goodness for the movies. Especially the kind one watches in the comfort of one’s own home. Let’s discuss.

Here’s a serious complaint – as I learned over the years, watching a great film is a multi-sensory experience – you see, you listen, you emote. And for me, always a major component of that experience is the music score. For those who pay attention, music is usually the heart of the movie – name a classic up through about 1990 or so for which you can’t hum a main theme. Or name a dud or two with a score that is better than the picture. [Read on here...]

I’m trying to remember when I put it all together, when it dawned on me that there were these wonderful movies, shown, at the time, when there were only three local stations and local guys programmed the movies, after the last late show. They were cheap, even I could see that, but there was just something about these black and whites that kept me fascinated and many a long night I would suffer through local commercials just to see either justice done or perverted.

And the titles – Private Hell 36, Shack Out on 101, Kiss the Blood Off My Hands and Five Against the House. And the actors, has-beens and wanna-bes, but they were just terrific. Tom Neal and Ann Savage and Dennis O’Keefe and Preston Foster and Lawrence Tierney. And this was the “B” list.  [Read on here...]

Thursday, 27 August 2015 11:57

The Biggest Movie Story in America

I had to sit on maybe the biggest movie story in America. For a long time. And now that it’s been completed and is over, I’m shocked that the whole thing hasn’t been on the front page of The New York Times.

I’ve perhaps casually mentioned that I helped create (didn’t get in the way of) a film school here in Oklahoma City, actually at Oklahoma City Community College. The idea was, unlike film degrees that are based on watching and studying themes and points of view and reading scripts, the creative side, so to speak, to offer a technical, hands on degree program, why a community college was selected in the first place. And to enhance the experience, we got the finest equipment in the world – Avid editors and cameras and lenses and lights and then, through a lot of hard work from a lot of good people, here came the ultimate – a full end studio, built to the specs of an actual Hollywood soundstage. If another state funded school has a facility like this, I’d like to see it.  [Read on here...]

(Photo by Robin Holland Photography)

Robert Altman said his last “that’s a wrap,” can you believe it, some eight or nine years ago and it seems as though any hope of mainstream studio films with emotional weight, sharp characters, social satire and natural, cliché free dialogue was buried right next to him.

Every Hollywood director since the beginning of the medium owes a debt to Robert Altman. His style was so distinctive, so fresh and so natural that people would say to themselves, “Oh that’s what directors do.”  [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

All right, we’ve got a pair of new Blu-ray reviews for you this afternoon. Tim has taken a look at Richard Fleischer’s Violent Saturday, a 1955 pulpy crime drama now available on Blu-ray from the fine folks at Twilight Time. Tim has also taken a look at Terry Gilliam’s 1981 classic Time Bandits, just released on Blu-ray in a fine new edition by our friends at the Criterion Collection. Don’t miss them!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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